Papers of John Adams, volume 2

From Mercy Otis Warren

Editorial Note

Alexander McDougall to ?, 14 April 1775 McDougall, Alexander UNKNOWN Alexander McDougall to ?, 14 April 1775 McDougall, Alexander UNKNOWN
Alexander McDougall to ?
Dear Sir New York, 14 April 1775

This covers a Letter, and accompanies a Budle, to our mutual Friend John Adams Esqr, which I received by Capt Lawrence from London, to be forwarded to him, by a safe Conveyance.1 I must therefore beg your particular care in Conveying them to him. All the Letters by the late Vessels, which arrived here agree, that the sanguinary measures expressed in the address, of Both Houses to the king were determined to be executed against this distressed and devoted Country.2 But that they were abhored by the Nation; and that riots and Tumults, were daily expected in London. The certainty of these I imagine, induced Lord North from considerations of personal Danger, 415to alter his Plan So haistily. There are no Letters received of so late a date as the Prints, which were received by Capt Lawrence, while he lay wind bound in Portsmouth, so that we are yet in the dark, as to the True motives of the motion made and carried by the minister.

I am Dear Sir in Great Haste Your Humble Servant. Alexr Mdougall3

RC (Adams Papers); endorsed in an unidentified hand: “McDougal 1775.”


This letter accompanied the bundle of books and letter from Edward Dilly dated 13 Jan. (above). Actually they were sent later by the Earl of Dunmore, Captain Laurence, bound for New York, rather than by the Paul, Captain Gordon, bound for Salem. Laurence arrived in New York in early April (Rivington's New-York Gazetteer, 13 April 1775). On behalf of JA, AA wrote to Dilly on 22 May, while JA was at the Second Continental Congress. She noted that no package had arrived at Salem and asked about it, but there is no record of another such package from Dilly ( Adams Family Correspondence , 1:200–202).


The address of the two houses of Parliament calling upon the King to declare that Massachusetts was in rebellion (Knollenberg, Growth of the American Revolution, p. 174; Parliamentary Hist. , 18:221–224).


At this time McDougall (1732–1786) was a member of the New York Provincial Congress; his strong whig leadership had early earned him the nickname of the “Wilkes of America.” Later he served as a general in the Continental Army and as a delegate to the Continental Congress ( DAB ).